In the first quarter of 2020 Edinburgh-based angel investment syndicate Equity Gap completed 12 deals and delivered £2.85 million of investment to early stage businesses in Scotland.
A number of those deals remain confidential due to market sensitivities as the country continues to ride out the Covid19 pandemic. All four companies below are current Equity Gap portfolio members and have raised funds this year.
Insignia Technologies (www.insigniatechnologies.com), established in 2012 and based at the BioCity Glasgow incubator, has developed a range of sensing technologies initially for the food packaging industry. Using patented smart pigments that change colour when exposed to specific gases, the smart labelling system warns when food is past its best by undergoing a distinct colour change, helping to minimise food wastage. The February 2020 round was led by Equity Gap, supported by University of Strathclyde and 24 Haymarket with match funding from Scottish Investment Bank.
Amiqus Resolution (www.amiqus.co) is a purpose driven fintech founded in 2008 which has created an online digital identity verification tool which enables clients to remotely check against identity fraud, money laundering and terrorism financing, to meet current legislation. The Amiqus ID app covers a range of onboarding and AML checks needed while maintaining privacy and accessibility to those across regulated professions. The round was led by Equity Gap members with match funding from Scottish Investment Bank.
Boundary (www.boundary.co.uk), formed in 2018, aims to reinvent the smart home security industry with key focus on the residential sector. This smart, monitored, low cost security solution is easy to install and operate, and is certified to British Standards. Equity Gap members matched by Scottish Investment Bank raised funds for the product launch later in the year.
My1Login (www.My1Login.com) solves the problem of cyber-security risks created by the increasing sprawl of corporate user identities, usernames and passwords by providing Single Sign-On for all web and Windows desktop applications that is seamlessly linked to the user’s directory login. The firm raised two tranches of funds in March through Equity Gap, Par Equity, and TRIcap with a match from Scottish Investment Bank.
Fraser Lusty, director at Equity Gap, commented “Through this period we’ve been delighted that our syndicate members continue to back existing portfolio companies, as some mitigate against current external pressures and others pivot to face it head on.
“The team is actively working across the portfolio to signpost the various business support and funding initiatives available, initially in terms of furloughing staff and taking advantage of payment holidays, but now were seeing one company benefit from CBILS and several others from Bounce Back loans. Most have sufficient runway for the foreseeable future.
“By the same token we are still looking at potential new opportunities, specifically those businesses that are making a difference in the current climate, and expect to complete our first new deal of 2020 shortly which is very pleasing.”
Jock Millican, founder of Equity Gap, said “We continue to work with LINC Scotland, UKBAA and other bodies, lending our voice in support of the industry and the young enterprising businesses within our portfolio wherever possible. Like our industry colleagues, we’re still identifying whether the Future Fund will work from
a Scottish perspective, but we’re hopeful that other option(s) may become available.
Jock concluded “Closer to home, we are pleased that having added four new team members to the workforce and at the turn of the year, we have successfully continued to consolidate and develop our business model virtually, as well as attract new angel investors to the group. We remain optimistic.”